Of all of the myriad agencies created and maintained by the Executive Branch, few have proven to be as detrimental to the United States as the Environmental Protection Agency. Since its birth under President Nixon’s executive order in 1970, the mission of the EPA has been to protect human health and the environment. The mission has been mutilated since the start, as the environment (or at least what we are led to believe is the environment) has taken so much precedent that the human health aspect — whether it is the physical, mental, social or economic sort — has been deemed worthless in comparison.
More often than not, it has appeared that the power brokers in Washington use the environment (and therefore the EPA) as a tool, a compelling means by which to exert its brand of total control over economic functions it would otherwise have a difficult time with without such propaganda. Over time, the EPA has touched everything from the food we eat (from over-the-top dust regulations to clean water rules that strip property rights) to the energy we use (telling oil and gas companies where, how and when to extract much-needed resources, creating a dependency on foreign sources) to the air we breathe (instituting utterly insane emissions standards for things as simple as portable fuel tanks). All of those rules and thousands more add to the cost of doing business and therefore the cost of living. The actual negative impact on the American consumer is in the hundreds of billions per year as we end up paying for these regulations at the market, fuel pump, and department store.
Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redefine "diesel fuel" so it can expand regulations in natural-gas drilling. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce claims the measure is necessary to "protect human health" from fuels used in hydraulic fracturing, a process that injects high-pressure fluids and sand into shale formations deep beneath the Earth's surface to tap natural-gas reserves.
U.S. Representatives Henry Waxman (Calif.), Edward Markey (Mass.), Diana DeGette (Colo.), and Rush Holt (N.J.) sent a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson this week, in which they contend that hydraulic fracturing providers are circumventing the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and using diesel fuels without regard to concerns about groundwater contamination.
Environmental contention stirs as discussions cultivate over the long-delayed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport Canadian crude oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada, to southern parts of the United States. Due to environmental concerns, lawsuits from oil refineries, and opposition in the U.S. Congress, the project has been on hiatus, as it lingers in the State Department’s permitting process, awaiting President Obama’s approval. In urging the President to act, Republicans and business leaders allege that the $7 billion expansion will create 20,000 jobs — 13,000 construction jobs and 7,000 manufacturing jobs — and ease U.S. dependence on foreign oil. TransCanada, the Canadian company that proposed the expansion, estimates that the pipeline would deliver over one million barrels of oil a day to the U.S. "We could help reduce the amount of imports from the Middle East," asserted TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha, "which would ensure energy security for the United States."
As GM share prices plunge so do Chevy Volt sales, according to the latest auto sales figures. Throughout July, a whopping 125 Chevy Volts were sold, making the seemingly low 281 units sold in February a groundbreaking month.
GM spokeswoman Michelle Bunker attributed the fallback to "supply constraints," alleging that GM was "virtually sold out" and supply was down nationwide. But Mark Modica, associate fellow at the National Legal and Policy Center, confirmed Bunker’s assertion was false, as he wrote on FoxNews.com:
During a July 20 Department of Education event in Washington, D.C. — the third of its kind this summer — area schoolchildren were given access to free books, two of which featured Nickelodean's cartoon icons Spongebob and Dora the Explorer pushing an environmentalist agenda and encouraging children to accept the widely debunked notion of man-made global warming.
The books are part of Nickelodeon’s “Big Green Help Series,” a campaign launched by the network in order to teach children to help protect the Earth.
As noted by CNS News, however, one of the books takes a particularly controversial position, purporting not only that global warming exists, but that it is in fact a man-made phenomenon, and can only be solved if humans change their behavior:
The Obama administration has unveiled a new round of fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, which are expected to require mileage gains of nearly double the current figure. The new CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards will last through the year 2025.
The proposal mandates that all passenger vehicles sold in 2025 average approximately 55 miles per gallon. CNN explains, “They’d ramp up to that level over seven years, starting in 2017 when current rules end.”
By contrast, the current standards for all 2011 cars and trucks mandate that vehicles average 27.3 mpg. By 2017, they will have to reach 34.1 mpg.
As the United Nations defends a scheme to rob the industrialized world of $2 trillion a year to fund its redistributionists aims, the latest scientific evidence continues to undermine the fundamental premises on which the edifice of global warming alarmism has been standing.
As reported previously for The New American, the United Nations is demanding $76 trillion from the first world over the next 40 years to encourage the development of “green” technologies in the third world. The defense of such a reckless agenda has rested on the unwarranted claim that the globe was hovering on the precipice of environmental devastation. “Green” ideology has become the bulwark of older agendas: The nations of the West must end their own prosperity, because that is only “fair” — and it necessary to save the world from Capitalist greed.
I've sounded the alarm over the dangers of Sustainable Development and the agenda for top-down control through what proponents call the "Three Es," which includes the Environment, the Economy, and Social Equity. A fourth rail to imposing Agenda 21 is called Corporate Social Responsibility. It is the direct result of the merging of the Three Es. CSR is the map to understanding why corporations are actively promoting the "green" agenda – even to the detriment of their own business.
Picture, if you will, an Isosceles triangle. And label each point: 1. Government Power 2. Corporate Money 3. NGOs Agenda
The truth is, corporations aren't always willing players in the partnerships — neither is government, for that matter. Many times both are answering to pressure from activists with a specific agenda.
In the battle of environmentalists against business that began years ago in the United States, one of its latest victims is Birmingham, Alabama, coal mine owner Ronnie Bryant.
During a recent public hearing in Birmingham — called to consider whether to place a coal mine near a river that serves as a source of drinking water for parts of the Birmingham metro area — Bryant heard accusations by an overflowing crowd that businesses in the area were polluting the drinking water and causing cancer.
Though both state environmental officials and mine operators asserted that the mine would not pose a threat to the drinking water, environmentalists contended that it would.
Item: “The White House is negotiating new vehicle mileage and emissions standards with carmakers, labour unions and environmental groups, proposing rules that would sharply cut petrol bills for US drivers and put domestic manufacturers on a par with those in Europe and Asia,” reported London’s Financial Times for July 4.
Item: The New York Times for July 4 said, “Depending of the stringency of the standard, the deal could also reduce global warming emissions by millions of tons a year and cut oil imports by billions of barrels over the life of the program, cornerstones of President Obama’s energy policy.”
Correction: The government may be promising us a Rose Garden, but what it actually will deliver is a patch of painful thorns.